Monday, June 24, 2013

Touch typing for kids

One week of school holidays to go and with all school activities cancelled due to the haze, and the kids unable to go outdoors, I'm guessing many parents are getting tired of their children bouncing off walls at home.

Instead of succumbing to endless computer games and tv, I have a suggestion for a more meaningful activity for your kids (no, it's not assessment books).

It's typing.

We all know typing is an essential skill in the age of technology.  Some schools organise a few sessions in primary school where the students get to learn typing during the school term. Andre had this in p1 or p2, I don't remember. But since it was held in a computer lab where the kids had to share computers, he didn't get much out of it.

CatLast November after his PSLE, when he had played non-stop for 6 weeks straight, I realised that he had another 7 weeks of holidays.  At this rate, he was going to completely lose all his brain cells (or whatever was left of them) by the time 2012 had ended, so I searched online for a typing programme and found this one:  BBC Dance Mat Typing.

It's clearly designed for younger kids since it has cartoon characters and whatnot.  But it's systematic and very straightforward. You go through the exercises and advance to different levels.  I found that it does its job pretty well in helping kids get the hang of where the letters are on the keyboard.

Where it's a little lacking is the practice exercises. If your children have completed this and you want them to hone their skills, there are lots of free sites which test your ability as you type.  I downloaded one called Stamina which Lesley-Anne found pretty useful. It sets you exercises and tells you how accurate and fast you are.

There are many others available, some even come with games.  Learning to type is certainly a lot more fun now than in my time!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The glorious Gold Coast

We're back from our one-week vacation in Gold Coast!  I'll be blogging about our holiday over the next week or so, so do check out my Travel Blog for updates.  The first post is already up.

Meanwhile, here are some photos.

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